Well sometimes eyes are alright and sometimes they start failing us. It can happen at any age. My Mum had glaucoma for many, many years and my Dad had Age-Related Macular Degeneration, whilst I’ve had two cataract operations. One of my work colleagues has Macular Degeneration but she’s in her 20’s so it’s certainly not age related in the way we would think.
As most of you know, I recently started work in the Ophthalmology Department at Ashford Hospital booking pre-op assessments mainly for cataract patients.
I am definitely a clerical not a clinical person but the other week, someone came in and ‘borrowed’ a desk space. She works for the Macular Society and gave me a bit of insight into what they do and how they support both patients and their families. She concentrates on the mental health side taking a positive approach about what is possible to achieve rather than a negative one.
There’s a link to the society here https://www.macularsociety.org/about/ It’s good to see (no pun intended) what the various types of macular disease mean, what the society does and what they can do to support patients, famlies and friends, giving them a better understanding of the issues that can arise. There is a wealth of information available on the site. I will try and remember to pick up a few leaflets that were left at the hospital and take them to the club.
Also, there is a local group that meets in Richmond (Vestry Hall) on the last Tuesday of the month, and one in Kingston that meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month (in a pub!). Sometimes it’s hard to explain how you are feeling to someone you know and maybe meeting people in the same boat and sharing experiences can assist in not feeling so isolated as well as gaining tips and ideas which have worked for other sufferers that you might want to try. Probably the hardest part would be putting a foot over the threshold to attend the first meeting.
There are societies, organisations and help groups for all sorts of conditions, so this is just one of many thousands all working to find answers and improve our lives. The Macular Society wasn’t one that I was aware of and I thought some of you might not know about it either and would like to find out a bit more.
If you are part of any support group that you feel has been really helpful , please let us know.